Over the weekend, there has been increasing trade talk involving players who could be on the move. With the NFL’s trade deadline occurring after Week 8 instead of Week 6, teams have a better idea of where they stand in the playoff picture and whether or not adding an extra player will be worthwhile to their cause. Nonetheless, rumors have been swirling all weekend around many players in anticipation of the trade deadline.
LeGarrette Blount is one of many players who could be moved before Tuesday’s trade deadline. (Credit: J. Meric/Getty Images North America)
Many running backs have had their names circulated in the trade winds these past few days. Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams, St. Louis’ Steven Jackson, and Tampa Bay’s LeGarrette Blount are the most prominent names being thrown out there. While all excellent players in their own right, none of them are extremely likely to be moved at this juncture. Jackson and Blount are both unrestricted free agents after the season, and trading them would mean placing an increased amount of trust on inexperienced rookies such as Daryl Richardson and Michael Smith. Jackson has been a cornerstone of the Rams franchise since 2005, and it’s doubtful the team would let him go mid-season. Blount, on the other hand, has been completely replaced by rookie Doug Martin and has a minimal role in Tampa Bay. Should Blount be moved, an obvious destination would be the Arizona Cardinals, who have lost both Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams for the season.
The rumors around Williams are interesting. Signed to a 5 year, $43 million contract two years ago, Williams was thought to be the lead back of Carolina’s future, until the team extended Jonathan Stewart for 5 years and $36.5 million. Stewart has shouldered the most carries in the Carolina backfield lately, leading to questions about Williams’ status with the team. Williams is due $18 million over the next 3 years, so it’s more likely that the team may cut Williams loose after the season if they decide to move forward with Stewart and Mike Tolbert in the backfield.
Is DeAngelo Williams on his way out of Carolina? Probably, but his method of departure is up in the air. (Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America)
There would be many options for Williams if he leaves the Carolina organization at some point. He could rejoin old head coach John Fox in Denver, and play with Peyton Manning and Willis McGahee. The Detroit Lions are letting Mikel LeShoure play the starter’s role, but he has not been very impressive thus far outside of his week 3 performance against Tennessee. Adding Williams as a lead back could be the extra spark Detroit needs to make a playoff push this season. As talented a player as he is though, Williams is almost 30 years old, the dreaded age for a running back, and could be seeing a decline in production in the near future.
A number of other players whose names have been thrown around in the past are coming back up in trade rumors. Dwayne Bowe could finally be granted his departure from Kansas City, as the team appears to be in free-fall right now. Dallas cornerback Mike Jenkins has been buried on the depth chart, but is a talented corner that wouldn’t cost a team a fortune. New Orleans running back Chris Ivory is another player masked on the bench that could be moved for a low draft pick.
What it all boils down to, however, is that few if any of these players are likely to be dealt. Draft picks are too precious to relinquish for a player that might leave as a free agent after the second half of this season. Don’t expect to see another Champ Bailey-Clinton Portis level blockbuster any time soon, but it’s always a good idea to keep an open mind at the trade deadline.
Follow us on Twitter @DownandDistance
Down and Distance Columnist - Joe Ray @jpray_SKThe post Running backs on the block at trade deadline appeared first on DOWN & DISTANCE.